Anemone Is Not The Enemy

Anemone lives alone in the rock pool.
The tide comes in and the tide goes out.

It’s hard to find a friend when you accidentally sting everyone who comes near you.

Perhaps Clownfish has the solution…

A Bright tale of self-acceptance, making friends and waiting until your tie comes in.

With humour and imaginative flair, Anemone is Not the Enemy encourages children’s curiosity about what’s happening below the surface.

Published By Scribble (Scribe)
CMYK and Neon Pink
Hardback RRP $24.99 AUD

Australia & NZ – out now
USA & Canada – June 2021
UK & Ireland – August 2021

Anemone sketch

The Idea

The initial idea for this story was the wordplay of ‘Anemone’ and ‘Enemy’. The title was swimming around in my head for a full year, niggling at me to write something. Then one day I was sitting in the window seat of a plane looking down at the coastline below. It was then that I had the idea of a tide coming in and out of a rockpool forcing ocean creatures into an Anemone’s stinging tentacles.

By not altering the angle or perspective of the scene, the change in tide becomes the variable that pushes the story forward. I built pace and visual breaks into the book with the inclusion of two white and neon sting pages and a dark despair page where Anemone is reliving memories. The final spread shows the rock pool zoomed-out – revealing what Anemone is missing out on in the ocean beyond(The grass is not always greener).

All images were digitally created on an Apple iPad Pro using the Procreate app and finished off in Photoshop. The book is printed in 5 colours – CMYK + a neon watermelon pink.

About the creator

Melbourne based author/illustrator/designer Anna McGregor is devoted to giving her young readers modern, fun, quirky and conceptual stories.

Anna finds her ideas by turning the mundane on its head, merging two unrelated thoughts or exploring wordplay – but always with a story that connects to the human experience.

Anemone Is Not The Enemy (Scribble) is her second book as author/illustrator.

Image: Anna as a child with her parents. Photo by Bobby Wyman.

Anna McGregor as a child
Anemone Activity Sheets


Download the activity sheet using the link below.

Anemone Activities


• Shortlisted in the CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Reader
• Longlisted in the ABIA Australian Book Industry Awards, Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year